19 January 2018, Friday, 14:28

Maksim Viniarski's life in threat

A statement by the civil campaign European Belarus.

Maksim Viniarski, a coordinator of the European Belarus civil campaign was detained on false accusations in Minsk on Friday, August 30. We have information from reliable sources in the prison, where he is held, that he receives threats of bodily harm.

The dictatorial regime organised a sort of hunt for Maksim Viniarski. The activist has spent in jail more than 300 days in recent years. He is being pressed and intimidated. He received ungrounded warnings against extremist activity.

Maksim was detained two days after Minsk's visit of Catherina Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and her meeting with Lukashenka. The regime took the meeting amid ongoing arrests as a signal to continue repressions and jailing of political activists, including candidate in the 2010 presidential election Mikalai Statkevich.

It's not a coincidence that it was the coordinator of European Belarus, the campaign known for its adherence to European values and nonviolent principles, who was detained just after the visit of Ashton.

Maksim Viniarski has problems with health due to numerous terms in custody and especially the hunger strike he held in jail ahead of the Ice Hockey World Championship. He has now faced threats of bodily harm.

We call on the European Union's Representative in Minsk, all EU embassies, the US Embassy and the Embassy of Ukraine, as Maksim struggles for solidarity with Ukraine, to turn attention to the situation, prevent the planned judicial repression and physical violence against Maksim and demand his immediate release.